When reading these chapters what I see is a lot of bad decisions. People should not get so caught up in a situation that they don’t have time to think about the consequences or who they might hurt along the way, or who might hurt them. I feel that these people were not thinking clearly, and not thinking with their brains but with their emotions.
Adonijah wanted something that wasn’t his to have. I am sure he knew that Solomon was to have the throne. But he wanted it at all cost. When his plot to take the throne did not go as planned, he came up with a new plan. If he had Abishag the Shunammite for his bride, then he could get the throne from another angle. Adonijah used Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, to ask the king for Abishag for Adonijah’s wife. King Solomon saw through this scheme;
King Solomon answered his mother,” What kind of favor is this, asking that Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah? Why don’t you just ask me to hand over the whole kingdom to him on a platter since he is my older brother and has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side!” (1 Kings 2:22 The Message)
Maybe, just maybe, if Adonijah conceded to Solomon and dropped the “being king” business, he could have lived a longer life. But, instead power over took him and he continued to make bad choices. Choices always impact your life in some way, good or bad.
Perhaps, back then, they did not have prisons to put people in, so the penalty for all crimes was death. This is what Adonijah and Joab received.
Next came Shimei. He did not support Adonijah, but he had done evil to David. Solomon told him to build a house in Jerusalem and live there and do not leave. If he left, he would be killed, but if he stayed, he would remain safe. He “shook hands” on the deal.
But it so happened that three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. Shimei was told,” Your slaves are in Gath.” Shimei sprang into action, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish in Gath looking for his slaves. And then he came back, bringing his slaves. (1 Kings 2: 39-40 The Message)
Three years was a long time. Perhaps Solomon was busy dealing with other things- more important. But Shimei didn’t take the time to consider the consequences. He just sprang into action! Sure, the slaves were his, but, was retrieving the slaves greater than his life. Surely, he remembered the deal he had made! Sometimes it is better to let go of things, even if you are right. Shimei should have let go, but he didn’t, and it cost him his life.
The third example of getting caught up in a situation was the two prostitutes with one dead and one live baby. The mother of the dead baby was devastated. She quickly switched her dead baby with the other one. Did she really think that this would work? What mother wouldn’t know what her baby looks like? But she was desperate and was sorry for what happened and wanted to make it right, and thought by taking the other mother’s baby, it would solve her problems. My mom always said “two wrongs don’t make a right”, and this is a good example. No doubt her choices were wrong, but in her pain, she needed to make things right again.
After a moment the kings said,” Bring me a sword.” They brought the king a sword. Then he said,” Cut the living baby in two—give half to one and half to the other.”
The real mother of the living baby was overcome with emotion for her son and said,” Oh no, master! Give her the whole baby alive; don’t kill him!”
But the other one said,” If I can’t have him, you can’t have him—cut away!”
The king gave his decision:” Give the living baby to the first woman. Nobody is going to kill this baby. She is the real mother.” (1 Kings 3: 24-27 The Message)
She was so wounded that she didn’t want the other baby alive either. She wanted the other woman to hurt as much as she did. She was so selfish! But her choices were not made with her brain, but her emotions. I have learned never to make decisions in the heat of the moment, to wait until I calm down and am able to think more clearly. If I don’t do this, I, too, make bad choices! I hope the other mother found a new place to live when all was over.
Now we are going to switch over to someone who thought through a situation and made a good choice.
That night, there in Gibeon, God appeared to Solomon in a dream: God said,” what can I give you? Ask”
“And now here I am: God, my God, you have made me, your servant, ruler of the kingdom in place of David my father. I’m too young for this, a mere child! I don’t know the ropes, hardly know the’ ins’ and ‘outs’ of this job. And here I am, set down in the middle of the people you’ve chosen, a great people—far too many to ever count. “Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?” (1 Kings 3: 5, 7-9 The Message)
What would I have answered God? Maybe as God assumed Solomon would answer—safety, wealth, health, happiness—all selfish things. Solomon already had wisdom, even if he didn’t see it in himself! His response was full of wisdom—knowing that he couldn’t do this alone—knowing he needed God!
Because he responded in a very mature manner, God gave him all the selfish things as well!
We all need to stop, take a breath, and ask God for wisdom when we are making our choices!
Father God, O how I need you every single minute of every single day. Left to myself, I can get in so much trouble. But with You by my side, in my head, and heart continually, I can rely on you to help me to make good choices. There are so many choices that we make without even thinking, help me to think of you first, and to ask for help first, so I don’t get caught up in the moment, going with the crowd, acting on impulse or devastation and reaching the wrong conclusion. I need you God, but better than that I want you in my life every single second of every single day! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!